Steamy conditions to plague Carolinas into end of September as Florence victims begin cleanup

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
September 24, 2018, 8:29:59 AM EDT


Sizzling sunshine, light winds and very warm and humid air will persist and make for uncomfortable conditions for those dealing with ongoing flooding and cleaning up after Florence.

The heat and/or high humidity with poor drying conditions are likely to create ideal conditions for mold and bacteria growth, as well as mosquito breeding.

A cooling breeze will be tough to find most days. In areas where the water recedes, air conditioning may be hard to come by as the process of tearing out and cleaning begins.

Static AP Spring Lake Flooding Home

A man carries an 84-year-old woman, out of her flooded home as her daughter-in-law gathers her belongings in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Spring Lake, N.C., Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/David Goldman)


The same weather pattern that helped to push Florence on a rare westerly path into the Carolinas and created a slow-moving river flooding natural disaster will continue into the last hours of September.

A weather feature, more typical of the middle of summer, known as a Bermuda high pressure area will persist off the Atlantic coast.

Bermuda High Graphic Static


While there are currently no sustainable tropical storms or hurricanes tracking toward the coast of the United States, the high pressure area will pump very warm and humid air northward from the Gulf of Mexico for the next 10 days or so.

Thus far this month, temperatures have been averaging 4-8 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. That trend will continue through nearly the end of the month.

With a few exceptions, the high temperatures will reach well into the 80s to near 90 F on a daily basis.

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AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will be mainly in the 90s during the midday and afternoon hours, which will make it difficult for those partaking in rescue and recovery operations.

Nighttime lows will generally range from the muggy upper 60s to lower 70s.

In terms of additional rainfall, moisture from the Atlantic and perhaps a weak tropical disturbance may lead to some cloudy days and spotty downpours through midweek. But, even when it's not sunny, it will be very humid with the likelihood of some showers.

Atlantic moisture 3 am Mon static


At this time, AccuWeather meteorologists do not foresee enough rain to aggravate flooding of a widespread nature. However, since the ground is saturated, any torrential downpour can lead to localized flash and urban flooding.

Temperatures are likely to surge again ahead of cooler air that may arrive at the tail end of the month.

Download the free AccuWeather app to stay updated on predicted AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures.

People are encouraged to drink plenty of water and sports drinks during cleanup to stay hydrated in the steamy weather. However, avoid drinking tap water in flooded areas until it has been deemed safe by officials in your location. If unsure, boil the water for several minutes to kill any pathogens, and then let it cool.

Do not venture into submerged areas with open wounds due to the risk of infection. Make sure you are up to date with your tetanus booster shot before beginning cleanup operations.

Keep alert for wild animals, such as poisonous snakes and fire ants, that may have been displaced due to flooding.

Meanwhile, AccuWeather meteorologists will continue to monitor the Atlantic for potential tropical threats.

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